buying property owned by former(?) felon

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goaties
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buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by goaties »

I've found a property for sale which research has shown is owned by a person who was convicted of drug trafficking. It looks like he bought the property after he served his time. Still, if he's still "in the business", could the property be seized by the DEA even after he's sold it to me?

I can back out of the deal, as the purchase offer has expired.
fabdog
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by fabdog »

sounds like a great use of title insurance... ask the vendor if they cover seizure by the feds.

If the person was convicted and served their time, unless you are aware that they have returned to their former activities, no way to tell

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raaizin
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by raaizin »

I would be concerned one of his old clients might visit to settle an old score and confuse you for him in the dark
rkhusky
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by rkhusky »

How could the feds seize property not owned by the felon? They would just seize the money that you paid the felon. If he is truly an ex-felon there is nothing to worry about.
bogivan
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by bogivan »

It would likely have to be a very bizarre series of circumstances for there to be problems with the transfer of the title. Depending on your state's civil asset forfeiture laws, in theory there could be an improbable situation where there is a raid on the house at the same time of the house closing where the police could move to take the property if it was involved with crimes being committed. You'd likely end up having to go to court which wouldn't be fun, but it'd likely be cleared up relatively quickly. As long as you do the final walk-through immediately before closing, you should be fine.

As others have already suggested, though, if you're concerned about the fact that the owner could still be involved in crime, I'd be much more concerned about other things: criminals coming to your door thinking that the former owner was still there, police breaking down the door trying to execute a no-knock warrant against the former owner, aggressive debt collectors showing up, private investigators depending on what kind of crimes had been (or will be) committed, etc. These issues are also highly unlikely unless you have some sort of proof of continuing criminal activity, but would probably be a larger concern compared to a successful title transfer.
mw1739
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by mw1739 »

My home was previously owned by two felons who embezzled $9 million. The property was foreclosed on by the bank before the government could take possession. I had no concerns with obtaining clear title. I still occasionally receive junk mail for the previous owners and once very early on someone randomly showed up offering to buy one of their other properties in foreclosure. I suppose my attitude would be different for a drug trafficker vs a white collar criminal.
Freetime76
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by Freetime76 »

Interesting. Can you talk to a real estate attorney in your area to be 100% sure? (Or, an attorney from a city nearby)
The explanation I received recently was: Title Insurance for the owner would protect your purchase price. If the value goes up and there’s an issue, that’s not covered.

Watch for needles in the yard (seriously)
Hire a great inspector and make sure s/he pokes around in all the nooks and crannies
If you find anything, just leave (cameras)

If you buy, have the house smudged.
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Watty
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by Watty »

Look for any hidden safes.

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Sandtrap
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by Sandtrap »

Before there were online background searches, people bought homes from others of all types of backgrounds and personal histories, and home where all sorts of things might have happened in them. I suspect things turned out okay most of the time.

As long as legalities are okay and title is solid, what is the concern or over concern?

Perhaps look for another property that does not have a questionable history, because you might always have doubts and "who knows what's" in the back of your mind and not sleep well. The seeds of doubt have already been planted. . . . :shock: :shock:

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HomeStretch
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by HomeStretch »

Was there any drug manufacturing or drug smoking in the home? I have read that drug residue can be a health hazard as it can sit on the surface or be absorbed by home materials like Sheetrock.
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4nursebee
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by 4nursebee »

goaties wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:42 pm I've found a property for sale which research has shown is owned by a person who was convicted of drug trafficking. It looks like he bought the property after he served his time. Still, if he's still "in the business", could the property be seized by the DEA even after he's sold it to me?

I can back out of the deal, as the purchase offer has expired.
Have you bought property before?
Did you run background checks to determine your decision making?
perhaps you should run background checks on the neighbors? Or people that live there before? Or others in town?
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Watty
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by Watty »

goaties wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:42 pm Still, if he's still "in the business", could the property be seized by the DEA even after he's sold it to me?
One more thought.

If you will be getting a mortgage then the lender likely has a lot more at stake with than than you do and they will make sure that the title is secure. There could be other issues but along with title insurance that covers you, and not just the lender, I would not worry about the title.

It also was not clear just how you knew they were a drug dealer. If you just searched on their name it could just be someone that has the same name.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by Doom&Gloom »

4nursebee wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:14 am
goaties wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:42 pm I've found a property for sale which research has shown is owned by a person who was convicted of drug trafficking. It looks like he bought the property after he served his time. Still, if he's still "in the business", could the property be seized by the DEA even after he's sold it to me?

I can back out of the deal, as the purchase offer has expired.
Have you bought property before?
Did you run background checks to determine your decision making?
perhaps you should run background checks on the neighbors? Or people that live there before? Or others in town?
+1

I bought my current house from people with no criminal record. Pretty easy to know in a town this size. However, years later one of them is almost certainly about to serve a lot of time for significant financial fraud.

You almost never know what type of person with whom you are making a financial transaction. I would be no more concerned about OP's seller than I would a random seller. Do your due diligence and proceed in the manner you think best.
ScubaHogg
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by ScubaHogg »

bogivan wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 6:45 pm
police breaking down the door trying to execute a no-knock warrant
This would likely concern me as much as anything, assuming the person was an actual dealer and didn’t get rolled up just on possessions charges
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goaties
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by goaties »

Watty wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:15 am
goaties wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:42 pm Still, if he's still "in the business", could the property be seized by the DEA even after he's sold it to me?
One more thought.

If you will be getting a mortgage then the lender likely has a lot more at stake with than than you do and they will make sure that the title is secure. There could be other issues but along with title insurance that covers you, and not just the lender, I would not worry about the title.

It also was not clear just how you knew they were a drug dealer. If you just searched on their name it could just be someone that has the same name.
You're right, I did just search on their name. However, their address matched the address given to the taxing authority. (The property is raw land, so it is not their home address).
bogivan
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by bogivan »

goaties wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:50 am The property is raw land, so it is not their home address
Ahhh: In this case, I would not be afraid of any problems besides the highly unlikely stuff that could arise with any former owner. Asset forfeiture wouldn't apply at all (unless you have reason to believe they're cooking meth on the land or something like that...) and all of the address-misunderstanding stuff would be falling off any realm of possibility also.
egrets
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by egrets »

4nursebee wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:14 am
goaties wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:42 pm I've found a property for sale which research has shown is owned by a person who was convicted of drug trafficking. It looks like he bought the property after he served his time. Still, if he's still "in the business", could the property be seized by the DEA even after he's sold it to me?

I can back out of the deal, as the purchase offer has expired.
Have you bought property before?
Did you run background checks to determine your decision making?
perhaps you should run background checks on the neighbors? Or people that live there before? Or others in town?
I ran a background check on the people who bought my last house. Personally, if I were the OP, I would not buy this house. How do you know former associates or enemies will not break in thinking he is still there.
Teague
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by Teague »

egrets wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 10:50 am
4nursebee wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:14 am
goaties wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:42 pm I've found a property for sale which research has shown is owned by a person who was convicted of drug trafficking. It looks like he bought the property after he served his time. Still, if he's still "in the business", could the property be seized by the DEA even after he's sold it to me?

I can back out of the deal, as the purchase offer has expired.
Have you bought property before?
Did you run background checks to determine your decision making?
perhaps you should run background checks on the neighbors? Or people that live there before? Or others in town?
I ran a background check on the people who bought my last house. Personally, if I were the OP, I would not buy this house. How do you know former associates or enemies will not break in thinking he is still there.
Per OP it's a vacant lot. Although I suppose there could be a subterranean lair equipped with weapons of mass destruction, futuristic ray guns, instruments of torture (bagpipes), all manner of high-tech evil gadgetry, and one beautiful yet deadly accomplice.
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Brianmcg321
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by Brianmcg321 »

Be sure to check behind any loose boards in the floor or drywall. You might hit the jackpot.
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PoppyA
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by PoppyA »

In theory anything is subject to forfeiture if it was used in a crime with a forfeiture provision. Also, if purchased with the proceeds of a forfeitable crime.

As an innocent party, you would have a “third party” claim with the government/courts in the event the property was seized, but I don’t see that happening.

If he is back in “business” they would go after the $ if he sold it to you as an innocent third party. He wouldn’t be “cooking” on vacant land or storing chemicals in plain site so I wouldn’t worry about contamination.
Last edited by PoppyA on Wed Oct 14, 2020 3:24 pm, edited 3 times in total.
123
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by 123 »

goaties wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:50 am ...The property is raw land...
Beware of any ground areas that bear signs of disturbance/diggings.
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alpenglow
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by alpenglow »

I was once interested in a piece of land that was being sub'ed off of a larger parcel. After investigating, I found the seller had potential organized crime ties. In addition, a family member had been killed in an unsolved execution style murder. Searches also turned up some weird lawsuits with neighbors that were unsettling. It was a hard pass.
BrooklynInvest
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by BrooklynInvest »

If it was undeveloped land I would think title insurance and a good lawyer would put me at ease. If it were a house then the admittedly small chance of a no knock warrant being mistakenly yet vigorously executed would be a deal breaker.
softwaregeek
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by softwaregeek »

As long as you have title insurance, I wouldn't worry about it. That's what it's for.
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beernutz
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by beernutz »

Make sure your title company is competent and you should be fine imo. I have dealt with an incompetent one and everyone involved is lucky there wasn't a workplace shooting.

I own property that was previously owned by a US Senator. I was hoping there might be some state secrets hidden away by their previous owner but they're so far elusive. <- hat trick
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PoppyA
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by PoppyA »

Title insurance affords no protection from a seizure. But again, as an innocent third party you have very little to worry about.

Is this property located in the same jurisdiction the drug charge were filed?
Last edited by PoppyA on Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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F150HD
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by F150HD »

raaizin wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:53 pm I would be concerned one of his old clients might visit to settle an old score and confuse you for him in the dark
worth thinking about.....

Stayed at a hotel in Reno 2 years ago....an hour after check-in, someone was pounding on the door looking for whoever stayed there before me. By what they were shouting while pounding, it sounded like a drug thing. And this was just a hotel for "1" night.
3of10
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by 3of10 »

Freetime76 wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 3:37 am Interesting. Can you talk to a real estate attorney in your area to be 100% sure? (Or, an attorney from a city nearby)
The explanation I received recently was: Title Insurance for the owner would protect your purchase price. If the value goes up and there’s an issue, that’s not covered.

Watch for needles in the yard (seriously)
Hire a great inspector and make sure s/he pokes around in all the nooks and crannies
If you find anything, just leave (cameras)

If you buy, have the house smudged.
+1. A very good home inspector is a must. I would also re-paint the house with an "Odor-Blocking Primer and Paint". More importantly, you must be "comfortable in your own skin" in living in the house. Mental hangups can be just as damaging as physical issues with a house. If it will always be on your mind, then you can't buy the house.
Carguy85
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by Carguy85 »

Wouldn’t this fall under the same category as The Who previously was asking if he should buy the house next to high voltage power lines....if it is a concern enough to ask then NO
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by Doom&Gloom »

Carguy85 wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 10:15 pm Wouldn’t this fall under the same category as The Who previously was asking if he should buy the house next to high voltage power lines....if it is a concern enough to ask then NO
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Sorry. Couldn't pass it up.
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Gort
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by Gort »

3of10 wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:29 pm
Freetime76 wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 3:37 am Interesting. Can you talk to a real estate attorney in your area to be 100% sure? (Or, an attorney from a city nearby)
The explanation I received recently was: Title Insurance for the owner would protect your purchase price. If the value goes up and there’s an issue, that’s not covered.

Watch for needles in the yard (seriously)
Hire a great inspector and make sure s/he pokes around in all the nooks and crannies
If you find anything, just leave (cameras)

If you buy, have the house smudged.
+1. A very good home inspector is a must. I would also re-paint the house with an "Odor-Blocking Primer and Paint". More importantly, you must be "comfortable in your own skin" in living in the house. Mental hangups can be just as damaging as physical issues with a house. If it will always be on your mind, then you can't buy the house.
OP says it's raw land. Home inspector isn't going to find much :happy .
3of10
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by 3of10 »

Gort wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:22 pm
3of10 wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:29 pm
Freetime76 wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 3:37 am Interesting. Can you talk to a real estate attorney in your area to be 100% sure? (Or, an attorney from a city nearby)
The explanation I received recently was: Title Insurance for the owner would protect your purchase price. If the value goes up and there’s an issue, that’s not covered.

Watch for needles in the yard (seriously)
Hire a great inspector and make sure s/he pokes around in all the nooks and crannies
If you find anything, just leave (cameras)

If you buy, have the house smudged.
+1. A very good home inspector is a must. I would also re-paint the house with an "Odor-Blocking Primer and Paint". More importantly, you must be "comfortable in your own skin" in living in the house. Mental hangups can be just as damaging as physical issues with a house. If it will always be on your mind, then you can't buy the house.
OP says it's raw land. Home inspector isn't going to find much :happy .
Thanks. It would have been nice if the Op had mentioned it at the very beginning.
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by Luckywon »

Gort wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:22 pm
3of10 wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:29 pm
+1. A very good home inspector is a must. I would also re-paint the house with an "Odor-Blocking Primer and Paint". More importantly, you must be "comfortable in your own skin" in living in the house. Mental hangups can be just as damaging as physical issues with a house. If it will always be on your mind, then you can't buy the house.
OP says it's raw land. Home inspector isn't going to find much :happy .
I'm sure the report will still have the usual disclaimers and recommendations to hire a qualified plumber, roofer, electrician, pool contractor, sewer inspector, mold inspector, termite inspector, foundation expert and HVAC technician to fully evaluate. :sharebeer
Carguy85
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by Carguy85 »

Doom&Gloom wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 10:34 pm
Carguy85 wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 10:15 pm Wouldn’t this fall under the same category as The Who previously was asking if he should buy the house next to high voltage power lines....if it is a concern enough to ask then NO
Won't Get Fooled Again

Sorry. Couldn't pass it up.
Lol! I’ll blame that totally on my phone. Maybe somewhat relevant to this thread though.
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FIREchief
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by FIREchief »

4nursebee wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:14 am
goaties wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:42 pm I've found a property for sale which research has shown is owned by a person who was convicted of drug trafficking. It looks like he bought the property after he served his time. Still, if he's still "in the business", could the property be seized by the DEA even after he's sold it to me?

I can back out of the deal, as the purchase offer has expired.
Have you bought property before?
Did you run background checks to determine your decision making?
perhaps you should run background checks on the neighbors? Or people that live there before? Or others in town?
Or, perhaps just rent?

I'm not being a smart aleck. I really do think this is just one more variable in the rent vs. own discussion. Not only does the future present risks (e.g. when the house next door becomes a meth factory or a homeless camp sets up a block away), but also the past (e.g. what you don't know about the property's past at time of purchase).
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.
whomever
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by whomever »

"Or, perhaps just rent?

I'm not being a smart aleck. I really do think this is just one more variable in the rent vs. own discussion. Not only does the future present risks (e.g. when the house next door becomes a meth factory or a homeless camp sets up a block away), but also the past (e.g. what you don't know about the property's past at time of purchase)."

In general, I knew a *lot* more about the previous owners of houses I have bought than I knew about who had rented a rental house before me. In terms of whether you are going to be the victim of an old-address drug rip, I think owning will have less risk than renting (albeit, both are usually microscopic risks).
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: buying property owned by former(?) felon

Post by Doom&Gloom »

Carguy85 wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:43 pm
Doom&Gloom wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 10:34 pm
Carguy85 wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 10:15 pm Wouldn’t this fall under the same category as The Who previously was asking if he should buy the house next to high voltage power lines....if it is a concern enough to ask then NO
Won't Get Fooled Again

Sorry. Couldn't pass it up.
Lol! I’ll blame that totally on my phone. Maybe somewhat relevant to this thread though.
I figured it was almost certainly done by your phone. And I could have resisted had not that one particular song fit into this particular thread :beer
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